Harry Potter Virgin — Harry Potter turns 13

At Hogwarts, Harry Potter is a legend, a hero and the school’s top jock. He’s gotten more than just a taste of what it feels like to be esteemed — and it’s gone straight to his head. I was gratified to discover that we return to a Harry who is not playing by the Dursleys’ rules anymore. After a particularly brutal and unwarranted cascade of insults, he delivers a most delightful coup de grace before packing his trunk and hitting the road.

I was also gratified to discover that the rumors are all true — J.K. Rowling brings us a more sophisticated reading experience with her third book. Our hero is older and wiser, and evidently, J.K. Rowling suspects that so are his fans.

Speaking of fans, an HP devotee asked me yesterday, incredulously, how it could be that this is my first encounter with Harry Potter. By way of explanation, I offered my age. “Sorcerer’s Stone was published in 1998, the year I turned 15.”

“So?” he said. “I was 16.”

Here is a picture of me around this time in my life.

As you can see from the bandana, cut off jeans and Birkenstocks, I was trying to be cool. I was not succeeding, but I was trying. In my attempts to cultivate a particular aesthetic, I simply overlooked anything that would not aid my efforts — and Harry Potter is a particular brand of nerd shit for which I had no place at that time.

As our eponymous hero moves into his own adolescent years, I hope for his sake he has a stronger sense of self than I did at that time, and reads whatever the fuck he wants.

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